10. Write a pregnancy journal
This may not be a MUST, but it is a great thing to do. Keep a journal (or a blog) and write about each time you go to the doctor and what happened. Document when you hear baby's heartbeat, when you find out the sex of the baby, when you picked a name and the reactions of both you and your spouse. Also it is great to take pictures of your growing belly as it progresses. You can do this weekly or a little farther in between pictures in the beginning. These are great things to look back on after the baby is born and maybe even share with your child when they get older.
9. Plan a "Babymoon" Vacation
This is a great way for you and your spouse to get away for a while and just enjoy each other's company. Plan a relaxing extended weekend for you guys to just be together and enjoy each other. Go out to dinner at a nice place, maybe go to a movie or just relax. It is true that vacations and dates will get fewer and farther between when babies come along, but it is CRUCIALLY IMPORTANT to make sure and not neglect each other and pay attention to each other.
8. Decide/Talk About Finances
Finances are often the things most couples fight about. This might be a conversation to have with your spouse before the baby comes. Are you going to stay at home and not work or will you return after maternity leave is up? Will you need daycare and how much will that cost? What other things do you and your spouse need to be concerned about financially? These are great things to talk about before the stress of having a newborn is added to the mix.
7. Prepare pets/older siblings
Not only is your life going to chance, so is the life of everyone in your household. Your dog, your cat and your older siblings' lives are going to chance forever as well. Start preparing your pets and older children pretty far in advance. Help your dogs learn what is okay and NOT okay to do with a baby around. Do any drastic changes months before the baby is expected (potty training, moving, changing from crib to big bed, etc.)
Preparing Your Pet
Preparing Older Siblings
6. Attend a birthing class
I think this is a very important for both you and your spouse to do before your baby comes to prepare you (and especially your spouse because he is not reading all the stuff you are) Your hospital or birth center has classes that they suggest or even require you to go to. My husband and I went through The Husband Coached Childbirth: The Bradley Method. If you are planning to breastfeed, MAKE SURE and attend a breastfeeding class. This will help you know what to do and probably make you more successful in your nursing. Here is a link to the Bradley Method and La Leche League to help you find local classes or just get any help you might need.
The Bradley Method
La Leche League
5. Pick a pediatrician
This is an important thing to do before your baby comes. Find out what is important to you and your spouse in regards to a pediatrician. Ask other parents to suggest pediatricians and interview a few and see who you like better. Ask them plenty of questions in regards to their policy on giving medications, vaccines and shots, and parent versus doctor choices. This also might be a great time to read up on standard vaccines and see what you and your spouse want to do (regular schedule, delayed schedule, no shots etc)
Choosing a Pediatrician
4. Take Suggested Vitamins/Supplements
I know that the bottle says "cannot replace a healthy, well rounded diet" or something to that affect, but it works the other way around too. No matter how well you eat, you just cant get 100% of EACH and EVERY vitamin and mineral that you need EVERY day. It is important to take those vitamins and whatever other supplements your doctor or midwife tell you to.
3. Eat Healthy
I know this is kind of a "duh" but it is so important to keep you healthy and to help baby to grow properly and be healthy. This will also help control your weight gain to where it should be. Find out what you should and should not eat, what is okay occasionally, and what you should eat on a regular basis. The Brewer Pregnancy Diet is a great way to tell if you are getting all the nutrition you and baby need to be healthy. Here are links to my post about eating healthy and the Brewer Pregnancy Diet website.
Blog Post: Brewer Pregnancy Diet
Brewer Pregnancy Diet Website
2. Make a birth plan
If you are delivering in a hospital this is a GREAT thing to do. This can be intimidating to do, but it is a great way to educate yourself of birth standards and your options! (Yes, you have options) Ask your doctor what things are standard during labor and delivery (IV, immediate skin to skin, cutting umbilical cord, medications etc.) Research about what is best for you and baby and put it together in a plan to pass out to your nurses and doctors at the hospital. In our birth plan we included EVERYTHING so that we knew what we wanted to happen in any situation. Here are some birth plans that you can use for examples (including the one that we used) I will do a whole post on birth plans later.
Our Birth Plan
Pregnancy Today Birth Plan
Baby Center Birth Plan
AND THE #1 MOST IMPORTANT THING IS...
This is the FIRST thing that I tell all my friends when they tell me they are expecting! (after "congrats" of course!) Getting regular exercise is one of the most important things to do while being pregnant. It will help keep you healthy, keep baby healthy and will help make labor easier. Yes, that's right, make labor EASIER! Labor is like a marathon and if you prepare properly it will go smoother. My husband and I walked 2 miles every day and it was the best thing I did while pregnant! Prenatal yoga is another great way to keep in shape!
I hope this is helpful for you and your spouse! Happy baby and as always, God bless you and your family!
Until the Whole World Hears,
grace.faith.dirt <--- LIKE us on FACEBOOK!